Future Members of the Polar Bear Club

by Sarah Healthy Pregnancy, Baby & ChildComments: 2

My family spent a few days away this past weekend. We stayed at the Innisbrook Resort in Tarpon Springs, FL, a fabulous golf resort with many outdoor activities available for the whole family. Our family has stayed at this resort a number of times over the years and my children especially love the giant Loch Ness pool with its “monster” slides.

You can imagine my disappointment when we arrived and the weather forecast called for record breaking cold and hard freeze warnings the entire weekend.  Only members of the Polar Bear Club would not have been deterred.

Sadly, it seemed the kids would not be able to enjoy their favorite swimming pool during our entire stay.

The kids seemed to have other ideas! They continued to ask over and over again on Friday and Saturday to go swimming despite the frigid temperatures and I, the cautious Mom, continued to say “No, it is way too cold”. The kids countered that the pool was heated. I replied that the pool wasn’t warm enough despite being slightly heated and that they would spend more time out of the pool than in it, wet and shivering in the cold wind while climbing the steps back to the top of the slide for another ride into the pool. After 2 full days of this back and forth conversation, I finally gave in late Sunday afternoon at 4:30pm and said “Ok, go swimming! Then you will see just how cold it really is!”. I called the pool to see if it was even open, and of course it was closed due to the cold weather! Relieved, I thought I was off the hook until the operator told me that the resort would be happy to send over an attendant to open the pool just for our family! Oh brother! I was going to have to go through with this after all.
We arrived at the pool and the kids cheerily changed into their swimming togs. I checked the temperature from the car and it was a bone numbing 39F at 4:45pm. The wind was also blowing slightly and the sun was rapidly setting which made it seem colder by the minute. I thought, “They’ll be out of the pool in no time. Probably one slide will be enough and we’ll be outta here.” Fat chance. The kids enjoyed the slides and the pool for a full 45 minutes until the attendant told us she was going to have to close the pool as it was now sundown! The kids were sad they couldn’t swim longer; I was overjoyed that I could finally get back into the warm car!
At about that moment, I suddenly remembered Dr. Price’s description of children raised on traditional diets in his masterpiece “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. The Swiss children, in particular, made a habit of frolicking barefoot in the frigid mountain streams during the middle of winter. Dr. Price and his wife, bundled from head to toe in hat, muffler, and coat, were shocked at this behavior and how the children seemed so resistant to the cold. Even more importantly, there had not been a single case of tuberculosis in any of these children, despite exposure to the TB bacterium, which was ravaging most of Europe in those days (1920’s).
This memory gave me a tremendous sense of relief. I realized that the kids were not going to catch pneumonia from their frigid swim after all. In fact, there was no reason for me to worry in the first place about them swimming in the cold. The traditional diet we follow in our home would convey all the protection they need from the extreme temperatures. Too bad I realized this on the last day of our vacation. The kids could have been swimming all weekend in true Polar Bear Club fashion.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

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